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How Many Words Are In A Children's Book?

How Many Words Are In A Children's Book?

Ever tried to cook without a recipe? Or assemble furniture without that handy instruction booklet? Yeah, it feels like a wild guessing game! If you're an aspiring author or just someone curious about the kids' publishing scene, you might be wondering: how many words should a children's book have?

3 happy children leaning on a pile of books

Well, this isn't a one-size-fits-all answer, but guess what?

As we're the UK's leading Children's Ghostwriters, we've got some juicy age range and content style guidelines to help you nail that word count without breaking a sweat.

Whether you're penning an adorable board book for tiny tots or diving deep into teen drama, there's a sweet spot for every age group.

What is the Average Word Count of Children's Books for Different Ages

Pop quiz: Do you remember what you liked reading when you were seven? Probably something short, sweet, and to the point. But as you grew, those short tales turned into sagas, right? Books grow with readers, and the word counts vary wildly based on age. So, what's the typical word range for each age group?

Baby and mother reading together

How Long Should Baby Books Be?

(Ages 0-3)

Board Books/Baby Books (Ages 0-3):

These tiny gems are usually up to 250 words. Short, but oh-so-sweet, they're designed for little hands and even smaller attention spans.

small child lying on the floor reading a book

How Long Should Picture Books Be?(Ages 3-8)

Storybooks/Classic Picture Books (Ages 3-8):

A bit more substance here! You're looking at up to 1,000 words. Perfect for bedtime stories and early reading adventures.

pile of old childrens books

How Long Should Easy Readers Be?

(Ages 5-9)

Easy Readers/Longer Picture Books (Ages 5-9):

These bridge the gap between picture books and chapter books. They can go up to 2,500 words. Think of them as mini novels for budding readers.

girl reading a book on her lap

How Long Should First Chapter Books Be?

(Ages 7-9)

Shorter/First Chapter Books (Ages 7-9):

Welcome to the big leagues! These are anywhere from 5k to 15k words. They're the kind of books kids proudly carry in their backpacks.

line of colourful books

How Long Should Middle Grade Chapter Books Be?

(Ages 9-12)

Traditional/Middle Grade Chapter Books (Ages 9-12):

These range from 20k to 50k words. A favorite among kids who've caught the reading bug and are hungry for more.

How Long Should Young Adult Books Be?

(Ages 12-16)

Teen/Young Adult (Ages 12-16):

The heavy hitters of young fiction. These can be anywhere from 30k to a whopping 120k words! Perfect for those teens ready to get lost in a hefty story.

If you need help bringing your story to life, check out
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